I first released my thoughts and outlook on 2018 in our Annual Report, if you have already read this the following will be repetitive. If not, I hope you’ll take a moment to see what you can expect from Hixny this year.
Now that 2018 is underway, I wanted to take a few minutes to recap last year’s efforts and achievements, as well as how we’ll proceed in the year ahead.
First, pursuing high-quality, complete data is a shared enterprise. We spent much of last year working with our partners to de-duplicate and standardize the data within the health information exchange (HIE), including implementing Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) to ensure lab data was being contributed and searched using the same language.
The quality and availability of data are the biggest factors determining the success of our users’ interaction with the HIE, and our efforts through 2017 ensured that users are able to gain more information while sifting through less data. This year, we’ll move our efforts out to the users themselves, ensuring that they are using Hixny to contribute and search records, which in turn helps to safeguard that patients’ data is up to date and available.
On that note, last year saw a more than 70 percent increase in the number of alerts the HIE sent to our users, notifying them about individual patients’ health events. This increase is an achievement that positively effects population health activities in our region. It was a result of our pilot alerts for events related to hypertension and diabetes, as well as the alerts now being received from other regions through the State Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY).
In 2018, we’ll continue to expand the available alerts while refining the level of customization to allow users to throttle the flow of information being pushed to them. Our goal is to provide a wide range of tools that support whatever workflow and care plan providers and patients create. These alerts offer a way for users to take rapid, or even proactive, measures that could have marked effects on individual patient health as well as population health across the region.
I mentioned the SHIN-NY above. Last year, we received its three-year plan, which shares a similar focus to our own. The plan set a goal of connecting 100 percent of hospitals and 70 percent of providers statewide, using a common clinical dataset, by 2020.
Hixny remains the statewide leader in data contribution and HIE use, already surpassing the benchmarks for hospital and provider participation. That’s why, in the coming year, we’ll be working closely with our users to implement and adhere to the common clinical dataset.
We’ll also continue to look at how Hixny can support our users as the healthcare landscape shifts toward value-based care, which ties insurance reimbursement levels to a provider’s quality of care measures. To see how one doctor in our region is already using Hixny to support standards of care in her practice, please read our annual report cover story, “Blazing a Trail.”
Finally, in the wake of the worldwide ransomware attack in 2017, the SHIN-NY’s plan also outlined new cybersecurity requirements. Again, Hixny was out of the gate early. Now, we are in the process of making sure we meet the rigorous standards for the independent and respected third-party certification from the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) that we’ll pursue this year.
Hixny is well-positioned for the year ahead. We’re looking forward to continued growth and expanded value for the more than 8,000 users who rely on Hixny to improve care in our region. We continue to work hard every day to improve the user experience and provide the valuable tools and information that will support ongoing efforts to better the health of our community.
Whether you’re a healthcare professional or a patient, a population health expert or an interested community member, we look forward to collaborating with you in 2018.